3Com, Accton and Natsteel Create Independent Analog Modem Company
New Company to Assume U.S. Robotics Name; Independent Operations to Commence by Sept. 2, 2000
SANTA CLARA, Calif., – June 7, 2000 – 3Com Corporation (Nasdaq: COMS) today announced the finalization of the analog modem strategic alliance previously announced on Mar. 20, 2000, between 3Com, Accton Technology Corporation and NatSteel Electronics. The new company created through this alliance will be called U.S. Robotics and will assume 3Com’s analog-only modem product lines and business, including U.S. Robotics® and U.S. Robotics® Courier™ branded modems. U.S. Robotics will be headquartered in the Chicago area and will commence full operations by Sept. 2, 2000.
With the analog modem business as its foundation, U.S. Robotics will identify new ways to build on the brand strength and superior product quality that has been the hallmark of U.S. Robotics branded products for more than 25 years. U.S. Robotics will develop and market a spectrum of Internet access solutions to suit a wide range of consumer, SOHO and corporate customers.
“U.S. Robotics has been structured to take advantage of strong existing revenue streams, while leveraging new channels and business models to improve margins and foster innovation,” said Paul Kim, vice president, Accton Technology, and U.S. Robotics board member. “Analog modem technology remains ubiquitous and market forecasts indicate continued volume growth for many years. An independent company is best suited to enhance the value of the market-leading U.S. Robotics® modem brand.”
Approximately 250 3Com employees in engineering, marketing, sales and support will transfer from 3Com to U.S. Robotics. U.S. Robotics will have its own board of directors including members from 3Com, Accton and NatSteel.
“As a newly created independent company, U.S. Robotics will maximize its presence in the marketplace by fostering continued and significant innovation and enhancements to analog modem technology,” said Tim Kattner, senior vice president, NatSteel Americas, and U.S. Robotics board member.
3Com also announced in March 2000 its intent to form a strategic manufacturing alliance with NatSteel that included the sale of 3Com’s manufacturing operations in Mount Prospect, Ill., to NatSteel. Additionally, the two companies announced intentions to form a supplier agreement in which NatSteel will continue to manufacture broadband modems and carrier-based, multi-services access platform equipment for 3Com. A definitive agreement between the two companies will be completed shortly.
“The creation of U.S. Robotics is one more example of 3Com’s transformation to actively focus resources on three distinct networking markets: consumers, commercial customers – particularly small and medium-sized locations – and network service providers,” said Jef Graham, senior vice president of 3Com’s Commercial and Consumer Networks Business. “By creating a separate, independent corporation with a singular focus, 3Com enhances U.S. Robotics ability to adapt to market dynamics. The separation permits both 3Com and U.S. Robotics to pursue opportunities that best fit their respective strengths and to better serve their customers.”
SOURCE: U.S. Robotics